By Donald J. Mrozek
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Extra info for Air Power and the Ground War in Vietnam : Ideas and Actions
These entrenched beliefs became a real problem for the Air Force when it tried to deal with the new Kennedy administration and the burgeoning war in Vietnam in the early 1960s . The Air Force could not contribute effectively to the debate over strategy in Southeast Asia because it gave priority to questions other than Vietnam . 3' Air Force leaders, given their lack of interest in counterinsurgency and limited war, focused on the global situation, which thrust Berlin and Cuba into the headlines, and on developing responses to such crises .
Rivalries suggest that efforts to fight the war stumbled over confusion as to what the war really was ; and without a common vision, the services were left to their own competing goals . INTERSERVICE DIFFERENCES, COMMAND AND CONTROL Interservice Differences in the Post-World War II Context In their rivalry over the organization and use of air power in Vietnam, the services continued their long dispute over roles and missions . This debate had special weight for the Air Force since it had been enmeshed in controversy with the other services through its whole history .
2. Here Mahan deals with the pertinence of experience under sail to expectations under steam. 9. Mitchell, Winged Defense, 20. 10. William Mitchell, Our Air Force (New York : Dutton, 1921), 106 . In this instance, Mitchell specifically meant lighter-than-air aircraft, whose decline he did not anticipate. 11 . Quoted in Futrell, Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine, 2. and Policy (New AIR POWER THEORIES, AIR FORCE THINKING 12 . This may help to explain why a clear statement of doctrine seems almost impossible to obtain in any given period .